The Winnipeg Jewish Community: Its Radical Elements, 1905-1918
by Roz Usiskin
MHS Transactions, Series 3, Number 33, 1976-77 Season
In the study of Western Canada, the role and contribution of its ethnic communities, of necessity, must be granted major status. It was not until Canada's Centennial, and the impetus of the B & B Commission in 1967 that greater awareness of ethnicity, of multiculturalism, of pluralism has been recognized. As a result, ethnic studies today are exploring new facets of our social history. However, gaps remain and one that is particularly evident is the almost total omission of the radical elements within ethnic communities. Little is therefore known of the relationship of radicals to their community. Little is known of their role and contribution. Consequently, a limited dimensional view of ethnicity has emerged, one that must be recognized as historically false and one that also betrays our society's continuing fears and discriminatory practices against radical ethnic groups in our communities. [A]
It is this integration, the radicals within their ethnic community, that will form the framework of this paper. Specifically, the paper will attempt to locate the radical Jewish element within the context of the Winnipeg Jewish community; to examine its organizational structures in the cultural and political realms; and finally, to assess the radical's role and contribution as a significant factor in integrating, through the process of accommodation, the early immigrant Jew into the Canadian society while maintaining and strengthening its cultural, radical, and secular heritage.
It was during this early crucial period, 1905-1918, that the tone and character of Jewish life was formed, when its communal life was crystallized and its structures determined. This was the period of feverish activity as streams of newly arrived immigrants scrambled for survival. Also, 1905 was the year when the Jewish radical elements arrived and added a vital dimension, not only to the developing heterogeneous character of the Jewish community, but also to the growing radical movements in Western Canada in general and in Winnipeg in particular.
Nineteen hundred and five was also a crucial period in Winnipeg's development for at this time Winnipeg was at the very vortex of Western Canada's great economic expansion. As the 'Gateway to the West', its potential for growth seemed unlimited. The growth ethic was its credo, more was better, cogently described by one historian as "those years of hysterical economic optimism."  This acceleration was best exemplified in industrial output and in population. In 1900, Winnipeg's industrial output was estimated at $13,000,000 with a labor force of only 5,0000. In ten years, this had increased to $54,000,000 with a labor force of 17,000.  Winnipeg's population rose just as dramatically. Within a short span of some thirty years, Winnipeg had grown from a village of 215 inhabitants in 1870 to a city of 139,863 in 1908, Canada's third largest city.  One-third of this population was foreign born,  creating a city with the most diverse ethnic composition found anywhere in Canada, numbering more than thirty ethnic communities. 
From a meagre handful of 21 in 1881, the Jewish community grew rapidly after the turn of the century, absorbing the streams of pogrom victims that were being dispersed throughout North America. By 1901, there were 1,156 Jews constituting 2.6% of Winnipeg's population. Ten years later in 1911, the community numbered 9,023 or 6.3%. From 1911 to 1931, the Jewish community constituted the second largest ethnic group in the city. 
To gain a fuller appreciation of this ethnic presence, particularly of the Jewish radical presence in the life of the community, a socio-historical profile of the immigrant Jew will be undertaken.
A Socio-Historic Profile of Jewish Immigrants
It is difficult if not impossible to determine the precise character of the immigrant Jews who migrated during this period for they were representative of almost every class and circumstance and of every ideological orientation common to all Europeans at that time. Yet undeniably, as a people, they were subject to specific socio-historical conditions, consequently bringing forth a unique Jewish experience and response. It is in this socio-historical context that the profile of the Jews can be examined, thereby gaining an insight into the 'preparedness' of the Jews for their Canadian environment.
Cohen stresses three fundamental sociological processes that have strongly influenced Jewish 'preparedness', making their integration into the North American environment more rapid, more constructive and less painful than other immigrant groups arriving at that time. These processes were: 1) migration, 2) secularization, 3) urbanization. Although they are dealt with separately, they nevertheless are recognized as being interrelated and interdependent. 
Jews have often been referred to as a 'world people'  belonging nowhere but living everywhere. Geographically dispersed, exposed to numerous races, they have absorbed and contributed to numerous genetic strains.  Throughout their four thousand year history, they have consistently rejected the pressures of assimilation.
Perhaps the last thousand years' experience best illustrates the 'Wandering Jew' syndrome. The English were the first to expel them in 1290, followed by France in 1395, then by Spain and Portugal in 1492 and 1495.  Fleeing northward to Germany and Russia, the Jews found a similar fate and were forced to flee to Poland. But Poland historically, has been the traditional scapegoat of Europe, its territories periodically carved up and swallowed up by its more aggressive neighbors, thereby placing many Jews again into Russian territories:
Migration, during this long process, has been recognized as a key factor in psychologically 'preparing' the Jews for endless social change, for accommodation to a variety of cultures, languages and environments. For Simmel, the Jew was the 'typical stranger' and in that role he attained an objectivity that enabled him to become the confidant, the counsellor, the diagnostician, the physician and the emissary of princes and rulers.  Out of necessity, Jews learned to live by their wits, often developing their intellectual rather than their physical powers.
Unfettered by land ties, serfdom or national loyalties, the Jew was far more mobile than his fellow Europeans in seeking out those avenues to ensure his survival. Economically, the Jew was forced into accepting those roles that the dominant society found demeaning. Since trade and finance were designated as sinful by the medieval church,  these avenues became exclusively Jewish enterprises. With a great deal of adaptability and flexibility, the Jew became remarkably adept as the merchant, the banker, the money lender, the trader, the negotiator and the peddler and often the manufacturer of his wares. As a result, the Jew gained many contacts extending as far afield as the Orient and the Middle East. As Wirth pointed out: "By the time the medieval church had relaxed their stand on the question of usury, the Jew had a fair start."  Even though this segment was always small, (the larger number remained both physically and mentally bound to the medieval ghetto) and not "always or even typically successful or rich", they played a vital role, as Sombart pointed out, in preparing for the new Capitalist society both in their old and in their new environment. 
Migration for the Jews, however, had a deeper significance. Migration became their ultimate weapon or their safety valve, their assurance that they could always move on to a new environment-an environment more conducive to the political, social and economic freedom that had eluded them for so long, one that now held such promise in the North American environment. Through their migratory experiences, Jews came prepared to adapt to their new world. For them there was no turning back.
2) Secularism (Jewish Humanism in East Europe)
In the early Nineteenth century, secularism became a viable option for Fast European Jews. This option, for the first time, provided them with the means of deviating from the tradition-bound religious beliefs and practices of their tore fathers and yet remain as Jews. This movement, known as the Haskalah (Enlightenment) was initiated by a small but influential group known as the Maskilim, (Humanists) who succeeded in making a "profound and enduring impact on the life and times of their people and their civilization." The Haskalah came about as a result of increased East-West trade after the Congress of Vienna. Significantly, it was the merchant that transported the ideas of Western liberalism, science and Western lifestyles to the East. 
Predominantly, the Hasksalah was a middle class movement, similar to the bourgeois orientation of the Eighteenth-century Western Enlightenment. Many of its intellectuals were from wealthy merchant families, therefore, the movement reflected the demands related to a merchant class. One of the Haskalah's most important aspects was its focus on spreading education and knowledge in the hope of dispersing the superstition and parochialism that ghetto life had fostered amongst the Jewish masses. Thereby, secular Jewish education came into existence and "broke sharply from the old theory that Jewish education was a religious exercise or a spirit discipline rather than a means of developing the intellectual and aesthetic potentialities of man."  It was Hebrew, ironically, the language of the Bible, that became the language of the Maskil and of the Haskalah literature. This becamee another vehicle of separating the middle class from the Yiddish speaking masses. 
Although the Maskilim argued for full equality and recognition for all Jews, their social philosophy masked their middle class orientation. They continually exhorted and proselytized for the 'productivization' of the Jewish masses,  rather than the demeaning petty trade of the peddler and the hawker. Though there was a disproportionate number of Jews in this area compared to their Russian neighbors, the Maskilim failed to make the distinction that Jews had more than their share of artisans.  It soon became very clear to the Jewish working class that this liberal, democratic orientation was unlikely to provide answers for their immediate problems and that these had to be sought elsewhere.
It was the Haskalah movement, nevertheless, that paved the way for socialist thought within the Jewish community. Now unfettered by religious, parochial traditionalism, large numbers of Jews embraced socialism as the panacea for all their social ills. Many became active in the Marxist Social Democratic Party first organized in Germany in the 1860s and in Russia in 1898.
It was in Russia that "almost every substantial Jewish community produced at least one Marxist 'study group'." 
However, secularism was not without its problems. As Guttman pointed out, "the problem of identity became even more complicated when conversion of a Jew is to a secular creed-for example to Marxism."  While the German Jewish socialists wholeheartedly embraced the internationalism of Marxism and the primacy of class, (Kautsky specifically argued for Jewish assimilation and its final disappearance)  their Russian counterparts emphatically repudiated this assimilatory 'solution'. For the East European Jewish socialists, a torrent of nationalist emotion and activity developed as they argued that the "national keeps company with the international," and "that the genuine internationalist has national pride and values national traditions. A man who does not love his own people is not likely to respect others."  [B] Repudiating the attempts at 'Russification', these socialists maintained Yiddish as the dominant language of the Jewish masses and in that vein developed a vibrant cultural renaissance, a synthesis between Yiddishkeit [C] and Marxism that became thereafter the basis of Jewish socialism. 
For the Jews in Russia, socialism developed along two streams. The first was the formation of labor zionism into the Poale Zion Party as Zionism had captured "the loyalty of greater numbers of Jews than any other political movement in the pale."  The second was the formation of the 'Bund' [D] organized in 1897 as an underground movement which served both as a highly militant trade union and as a political party. They organized massive strikes, in the industrial cities such as Ladz and Bialystok, held protest meetings and street demonstrations, attracting tens of thousands of people and distributed hundreds of thousands of leaflets. During the revolutionary period of intense anti-Czarist activity in 1903-1905, 4,500 Bundists were arrested in one summer as they organized a succession of strikes in factories, in railways, in sweatshops and textile mills. 
After the defeat of the 1905 Revolution, many Jewish radicals fled to North America. In the first two decades of this century, both secularists and radicals became a driving force in the life of North American Jewry. Not only were they instrumental in establishing the base for Jewish secular, radical thought and organization, but offered all of Jewry a dedicated leadership devoted to securing social justice, equality and recognition for the immigrant Jew in his new society.
While the vast majority of East Europeans were of peasant, rural background, (in 1907 - 85% were rural)  Jews were predominantly urban dwellers living in the 'shtetl' (a small town) and in the city in the Pale of Settlement.  The process of urbanization for the Jews, Handlin explained, involved three distinct phases. The first was the migration from the 'shtetl' to the large cities where greater economic opportunities were to be found in the growing commercial and industrial areas. In the Nineteenth century, large Jewish settlements were founded in London, Paris, Berlin, Vienna, Budapest, Bucharest, Lodz, Warsaw and Kharkov. The second trend toward urbanization was a shift from East to West, from the underdeveloped to the more developed, industrial regions. Hence, toward the end of the century there was a marked increase in the number of Jews in English, French and German cities. The last phase was the final break with the Old World. The overwhelming majority of Jews,  settled into an urban existence on their arrival in North America.
Even though the Jew was restricted in many aspects of European urban life,  (i.e. in occupational, political and social levels) he nevertheless developed an urban mentality that enabled him to 'fit' into modern industrial society. In the city, the Jew became imbued with the tremendous sense of progress that technology and science now offered mankind. Here, he gained access to the intellectual ferment that Nineteenth century Europe was experiencing - a ferment that excited his intellectual capacities and gave range to his organizational abilities hitherto restricted to the ghetto community. In this fervent organizational thrust, the Jew helped to develop trade unions, fareins, shules, political parties, etc., often in conjunction with his non-Jewish neighbor.
It was in the cities of the Nineteenth century that the Jew first experienced industrial capitalism, in which new class relations were being quickly established. Not infrequently, both capitalism and radicalism have been epitomized as the exclusive monopoly of the Jews. Undoubtedly both streams have produced great Jewish personalities, with the greatest often having attention drawn to their ethnicity rather than to their class positions. All forms of radicalism were linked with the Jews; "Jews formed cliques to control international finance".  Frequently, this activity/visibility brought about further anti-Semitic outbursts and intensified far more clearly the fact that Jews were not then nor ever had been a monolithic entity. As pointed out previously, there were thousands of Jews in every European country who were among the pioneers in the tremendously accelerated international trade which followed the expansion of production. They helped to build the bustling city life of the new commercial and industrial world."  The large mass of Jews, however, were concentrated within the urban working class and as Sachar showed, not only were they more urbanized but also more impoverished and proletarianized (about 40% of the Jewish population)  than any other ethnic group in the Russian Empire. Within the pale that extended from the Baltic to the Black Seas, the Jews were exposed early to industrial development that was growing rapidly in these areas from 1870 onward. The Russian census of 1897 found that a larger number of Jews were artisans, journeymen, apprentices, and factory workers than traders. They were heavily concentrated in six industries clothing primarily, metal-work, wood-work, building, textiles and tobacco. In addition, they worked in sixty other occupational areas which were confined largely to light industries." Later, this qualified the Jewish immigrants to help fill the labor needs of light industry which was rapidly being developed in North America, at the turn of the century.
Together, these three processes-migration, secularization and urbanization-became fundamental in the evolution of European Jewry. Through a long historical process, through necessity, they developed a flexible and adaptable attitude to social change. This was particularly visible with the rise of capitalism. In the growing urban centres, Jews were able to make the necessary transformations, playing a major role both as worker and as entrepreneur. In addition, this flexibility and adaptability were primary in developing greater social interaction and cultural contacts between Jews and various ethnic minorities as they migrated from one area to another. In a reciprocal relationship based on accommodation rather than assimilation, the Jews made their contribution to their larger society. In turn, this interaction strongly affected their thinking and behavior.
In North America, these attributes became their greatest resources.
While most European immigrants of peasant background were involved in tremendous occupational changes on arrival, the Jews instead showed a remarkable continuity. Conditions of Jewish life in the Old Country merged with conditions of light industrial development in the New to create this unusual continuity." 
The cultural baggage that the Jews brought with them now was enriched beyond the narrow parochialism that traditional Jewish orthodoxy had allowed. Secularism, a new phenomenon within the Jewish fold, became a different creed bringing into existence the modern, dynamic, secular, Yiddish culture. As a direct outgrowth, and as a response to the emergence of European socialism, Jewish radicalism was born. Radicalism in North America was to create a climate for constructive dissent. Moreover, it provided the immigrant Jew with the basis for a dedicated leadership so vital in building their new society.
Jewish Radicalism in Winnipeg
It was in Winnipeg's North-End that the Jews found a haven and it was here that they became firmly entrenched as one of its integral components. This enclave, the North-End of Winnipeg has assumed such legendary proportions that it has been granted a significant role, not only in Winnipeg's but also in Canada's history as the symbolic home of the working class, as the ghetto where ethnic communities were able to live together harmoniously while retaining their cultural uniqueness and as the breeding ground of Western Canadian radicalism.
Radicalism was a direct result of industrial capitalism's intensive and haphazard economic growth-a growth indiscriminate of its human toll. Worker's exploitation, child labor, slum housing, and high infant mortality rates-in other words human degradation-were all in abundance in North Winnipeg. The economic prosperity and optimism that Winnipeg's elites had boasted about had not materialized for Winnipeg's working masses. In fact, studies have clearly established that before 1920 real wages in Western Canada had declined.  [E] As a result, the seeds of Western Canadian radicalism, of which the Jewish movement formed an essential part, became firmly rooted.
Jewish radicalism, however, is not a contemporary manifestation. Jewish radicalism has ancient historical roots that have become deeply embedded into the Jewish consciousness. At times it has remained dormant, at other times its manifestations have been expressed in various forms; in questioning, in analyzing, in interpreting, in argumentation, and not infrequently in challenging the prevailing social order and social thought. Carried forward by a minority, its impact has been decisive in opening new channels of thought processes not only to the Jewish community in particular, but often to the larger community in general. This philosophical tradition has been traced back to "Philo of Alexandria, through Moses Maimonedes to Franz Rosenzweig, Martin Buber and others who have attempted to combine Judaisim with modern thought."  Extended into contemporary thinking, modern radicalism has primarily centred around Marxism.
Reflecting these historical antecedents, by the turn of the century Jewish radicals brought with them the divisiveness that had split the European Jewish movement. This divisiveness was generally expressed in three main streams of thought: the revolutionary Marxists, (the Bundists); the Anarchists; and the Nationalists (Socialist Zionists). Together, these factions comprised the radical colony in Jewish community life in Winnipeg. Generally, they were compatible in rallying their combined membership around the political, socio-economic problems that confronted them in their new environment. However, they were neither then - nor have they today - been able to resolve their fundamental divergent approaches to the 'Jewish problem', particularly on the relationship between socialism and zionism.
While these divisions were of European origins, Canadian Jewry, the radical elements included, very early began to reflect its North American rather than its European environment. Its ties with the American Jewish community became closely linked not only on the personal level as families and 'landsleit' [F] moved relatively freely across a common border, but increasingly, Canadian Jewish life became strongly influenced by American organizational models. As sociologist Dennis Wrong noted: "Indeed Canadian Jews are probably a greater Americanizing influence in Canadian life than any other ethnic group of comparable size."  For it was in the U.S. that:
In Canada, American organizational models were clearly discernible in the radical organizations established during this period and directly linked American and Canadian radical movements along cultural, social and educational lines.
Although Winnipeg's radical Jewish organizations were structurally independent, they were nevertheless closely interrelated both in philosophy and in membership. One of the first organizations that encompassed three streams of radical thought was the Arbeiter Ring. It is this organization within Jewish cultural life that will be the focus of this paper's investigation for it was in this socio-cultural organization that Jewish radicals incorporated both their Marxist ideology and their Jewish identity in creating a unique Jewish working class culture.
A. The Cultural Organizational Life Within Winnipeg's Jewish Radical Community. The 'Arbeiter Ring' (Workmen's Circle)
The 'Arbeiter Ring' (AR) was founded in 1900 by a group of East European Jews with revolutionary tendencies. It was the first Jewish labor, fraternal organization in the United States. Although there were other fraternal organizations at that time, they were largely representative of middle class Jewry. Together with 'landsmanshaften' that were growing rapidly, the AR was primarily a 'self-help' organization, essential at that time to cushion the immigrant worker from unemployment, illness, and all the hazards of a developing capitalist society. The AR was distinctive in that "the worker kept his self-respect because he was participating in a program of self-help with fellow workers." From 300 members in 1900, the organization rapidly grew to 48,000 in 1915, dispersed into 546 branches throughout North America. 
While mutual aid was its immediate concern, socialism was its goal for the future. The slogan of the AR was indicative of these concerns: "We Fight Against Sickness, Premature Death and Capitalism." [G] Their membership included the wide gamut within the socialist spectrum and each persuasion was guaranteed support without partisanship or discrimination.  In other words, each ideological faction within the AR was free to practice its particular brand of socialism. The cultural life that the AR developed was rich and varied and was carried throughout the North American continent to enrich and nourish the immigrant Jewish worker. In content, it ranged from lectures on political, philosophical and social issues, song groups, drama groups, readings and recitations that were "steeped in Yiddish literature of social protest and social idealism." 
Harry Gale, a member, recalled the tremendous popularity that these organizations enjoyed in Winnipeg. "They had acquired great influence among the young people because the ideals of freedom, internationalism, brotherhood and working class unity had captured everyone's imagination". 
Organizationally, the three branches of the AR in Winnipeg tended to reflect the cleavages within the Jewish radical movement: 1) the revolutionary Marxists were organized into Branch No. 169; 2) the Nationalists into Branch No. 506; 3) the Anarchists into Branch No. 564. To coordinate their activities, a City Committee was formed. Not only did this body link the branches together, but, organizationally, linked Jewish radicals to their counterparts in Canada as well as in the U.S.
1) Branch No. 169 - The Revolutionary Marxists
The revolutionary Marxists were the founders of the AR in Winnipeg in 1907  and remained the determining spirit within the organization thereafter. They were distinguished from the other branches as the "Revolutionaries", the "Bundists", the "Internationalists", and often as the "extremists". Their beliefs were strongly held, their leadership vigorous, their passion for social justice fervent and they possessed an unflinching commitment to their ideals both as Jews and as socialists.
Their concerns at the social, cultural and ideological levels were extensive, with activities primarily devoted to raising and strengthening class and ethnic consciousness of the Jewish masses. On the social level, only a few examples are necessary to illustrate the range of Branch activities which were designed to help alleviate the social ills that were in abundance for the immigrant Jew.
Very early, Branch members organized the "Arbeiter Ring Free Loan Association". [H] Mutual aid was its primary purpose, providing loans, sickness and death benefits, and, dispensing concern and advice whenever it was needed. In their own small way, members had devised an early, albeit crude form of social security, the only means available to the newly arrived working class.
During the war, this Branch was instrumental in calling a conference for the "Jewish War Relief Committee" uniting radicals with other Jewish organizations. This became a major concern for all North American Jewry with repeated reports of continuing atrocities against East European Jews.  It was during these momentous times when the fate of East European Jewry was at stake that ethnic consciousness rose to the surface and took precedence over all other factors, when radicals found common cause with non-radicals and played a decisive role in the larger Jewish community.
To relieve the plight of all working men, members of the Branch expressed their class concerns through numerous activities, both on a local and international plane. Locally, members of Branch No. 169 called a conference of the Jewish radical community in March, 1917 in response to the growing number of strikes in the city and the large number of Jews involved. Ten organizations were involved; besides the three branches of the AR, those involved included the Women's Branch of the SDPC, the Poale Zion, Young Socialists and the Peretz Literary Farein. The conference adopted the name "Help the Strikers Conference". Concern for the conditions of Winnipeg's working class extended to both financial and moral support. In one of the strikes that they were involved with, this resolution was passed:
By 1917, this Branch had achieved one of its earliest goals when it opened its social and cultural centre. The Liberty Temple (Freiheit Temple) at Pritchard and Salter became renowned throughout Canada as the home of Winnipeg's progressive Jewry. Three hundred people attended the first anniversary banquet where they heard speeches from Frank Simkin, I. Prosov, L. Orlikow, D. Coldin and W. Baun.  All spoke of the history and the significance of Winnipeg's Jewish radical community.
These social concerns were the common bond that united all members of the AR for their class solidarity was never in doubt. However, it was in their ideological approach to the solution of the 'Jewish problem', that became a focus of major debate and the major obstacle to unity within the Jewish radical movement.
In their approach to the 'Jewish problem', branch members strongly defended "socialism as the only answer to the Jewish question."  In this way, they attempted to balance their internationalism with their strong drive towards national survival. As Freedman pointed out: this was rarely an easy task:
Freedman's description adequately described the position of the Jewish revolutionary Marxists in Winnipeg. They not only had to fend off attacks from the orthodox community but also those within the ranks of the Jewish socialist movement, from the assimilationists and the Nationalists (the Labour Zionists the Poale Zion.). [I] The debate with the former group was then, and remains today, a continuing dialogue.
After the Balfour Declaration of 1917, it was the struggle between the revolutionary Marxists and the Nationalists - the Poale Zion - that became crucial. With this declaration, world Jewry was thrown into great turmoil, particularly within the socialist movement. In Winnipeg, as elsewhere, zionism grew rapidly both in organization and in membership. Revolutionary Marxists-both within the AR and the Jewish Branch of the SDPC were quick to recognize and accept this new Zionist challenge. Numerous discussions and public debates resulted. One, a "Debate about Poale Zion" held on April 1, 1918 with eight to nine hundred people in attendance, gave some indication of the intensity and the arguments involved. S. Almazov and W. Baum of the AR debated with A. Cherniak and I. Pearlman of the Labor Zionists.  All four were prominent, popular members of the Jewish community.
Briefly, Labor Zionists argued that zionism was the only answer to the 'Jewish problem'. A Jewish homeland, they reasoned, would eliminate the fear of assimilation; it would eradicate the abnormal class structure of Jews in the Diaspora, this was to be achieved by creating an agricultural class in Palestine; it would allow Jewish culture to flourish and grow in a sympathetic environment; it would create a socialist homeland; and above all it would cater to the national aspirations of the Jews-aspirations similar to all other nationals.
In reply, Almazov maintained that capitalism was the enemy of all workers, only socialism could secure cultural fulfillment and social equality for both Jews and non-Jews. A Jewish homeland, he reasoned, was no assurance against capitalism and it was idealistic to assume that the creation of a Palestinian homeland automatically meant a socialist state. In addition, Almazov feared that because Palestine lay midway between Europe and India, it had the potential for becoming the scapegoat of the great powers. Furthermore, Baum continued, Palestine could never solve the 'Jewish problem' since it could never incorporate all world Jewry. The Jewish problem, consequently, would remain. Zionism, he insisted, was merely idealism, not at all based in reality. As a result, this idealism would necessarily divert the Jewish workers from the class struggle. In conclusion, both Baum and Almazov urged that it was incumbent upon Jewish socialists to enter into the class struggle wherever Jews were located, rather than isolating Jew from non-Jew, as Zionists had advocated. 
Zionism was but one of the many diverse concerns that occupied this branch, as indicated by the above examples. In founding the AR in Winnipeg, the revolutionary Marxists laid the basis for a parallel Jewish radical institution that was able to function on three levels, the social, the cultural and the ideological. As a result, secular Jewish activity and a secular Jewish lifestyle became possible, and, in time, became accepted as an integral, dynamic component of the Jewish community.
2) Branch No. 506 - The National Element
Branch No. 506 represented the national or Zionist aspirations within the more moderate spectrum of Jewish radicalism. This link between Zionism and socialism was organizationally expressed within the first radical groups in the city the Socialist Territorialist [J] and the Poale Zion. [K] Significantly, the early activities which these groups initiated, established the Winnipeg Jewish community as a cultural oasis in North America-a tradition that has been retained to the present.
Most of the information of the ST or as they were more commonly known in Russia and in America as the "Socialist Zionists",  was made available to us by the late Mr. J. A. Cherniack one of the founders of the ST and a most influential member of the Winnipeg Jewish community in general.
In Winnipeg, the ST organized in 1906 with 5 members and grew to 35 in 3 months.  The ST was part of the larger North American organization. Their first convention, held in Boston in 1906, was attended by Mr. Cherniack. Here they defined their basic goals which were "to find a territory, to built it and to transform it into a paradise for Jews to inhabit. A major decision, perhaps the most pressing, was to build Jewish schools in America."  This latter aspect became their main thrust and they were instrumental and successful in not only organizing the first radical Jewish national school in Winnipeg, but in maintaining its existence to the present as the I. L. Peretz School. [L]
It was at this first convention that Mr. Cherniack made Winnipeg known in Jewish radical circles. As a result, many renowned speakers were brought to Winnipeg early in the ST formation. The first was Chernichov-Danieli. One of the leaders of the movement in Russia, Danieli addressed an audience of five hundred paying fifteen cents for the privilege.  Another influential guest was Dr. Nachum Syrkin, the theoretician for the ST as well as the editor of their journal. It was Dr. Syrkin who introduced the idea of a Jewish congress and it was Mr. Cherniack who later spearheaded the drive both in Winnipeg and throughout Canada toward organizing this democratic body. The Canadian Jewish Congress was founded in Montreal in 1919.
The ST worked closely with the Poale Zion - the group that strongly advocated a Palestinian homeland as the natural habitat of the Jews. Patterned after the American parent organization, the Poale Zion first became active in Winnipeg in 1906. Mr. Aaron Osovsky, a C.P.R. laborer, guided their small but dedicated membership in carving out for themselves a unique position within the Jewish community. For it was the Poale Zion who were the first to organize a Jewish library in 1907. They were the first to establish the "Yiddish Drama Club" where they staged numerous plays with "social content" for a large, appreciative audience.  One Poale Zion meeting called in 1906 and nostalgically recalled by Mr. Levadi, perhaps best indicated the ferment, the vitality and the strongly held idealism amongst all Jewish radicals. In a lecture by Bella Pevsner of New York, the discussion became so argumentative between the extremists and the moderates that "the lady fainted in the middle of her lecture, and thankfully recovered just in time to finish her speech." 
However, by 1910, the impetus for both organizations-the ST and the Poale Zion-had weakened with little immediate hope of solving their territorial aspirations. From then on until 1917, they concentrated their efforts on establishing Yiddish schools that were to be "secular, national and socialist in character and ideology."  Toward this goal, they founded the "Yiddish Yugend Farein", a literary, cultural club that became the most active organization of its kind in the Jewish community."  The Farein was an amalgam of all radical shadings, for as Mr. Cherniack recalled, "... we were Jews and socialists in the widest sense of the word. Therefore, we had to immediately found a school with a Jewish radical program for the children of the Jewish masses ..."  But this precarious alliance was not destined to be long lasting. The Farein existed for merely two and a half years, torn by internal dissension. In 1912, many joined the AR as the 'Jewish Young Workers' Circle Branch No. 506.  Here, they continued in their efforts to establish secular radical education in Winnipeg.
It is not surprising, therefore, that this Branch's particular mentor was Dr. Chaim Zhitlovsky, considered as the "father of Jewish education in America". Not only was he influential in the field of education, but his frequent visits especially in 1915, 1916, 1917 infused a "new nationalist climate into the Winnipeg Jewish community."  It was not until 1917, with the Balfour Declaration, that this nationalist climate developed in fertile ground and "there began a long-range process of realignment of all forces, including anti-Zionists and non-Zionists to the reality of the Jewish community in Palestine."  The ST, at a conference in New York, declared their support for a Palestinian homeland as the only possibility for contemporary Jewry.  In Canada, in Winnipeg as well, the old alliance between the ST and the Poale Zion re-emerged to join forces with the "Jewish National Alliance" first organized in Montreal in 1909, and in Winnipeg in 1917. 
By 1918 the Winnipeg organization showed a marked growth in membership, described by the Israelite Press as the unification of nationalism and socialism.  Labor Zionists had become unified. This group included such leading personalities as: I. Hestrin, W. Keller, A. Cherniack, I. Pearlman, B. Sheps, B. Miller, M. Averbach, etc. Politically, many became influential in the more moderate spectrum of the Jewish community, many became leading personalities within the CCF and NDP tradition and expressed the growing petit-bourgeois character slowly developing in the Jewish community.
In summary, the role of the Socialist Zionists in Winnipeg, as in Canada, was profound. It expressed both the moderate socialist tendencies within the community along with the national, territorial aspirations of the Jewish masses, especially after 1917. It was at this point that Labor Zionism gained hegemony within the Jewish community and irreparably widened the chasm between the revolutionary Marxists and the Socialist-Zionists. The vitality of these Labor Zionists, thereafter, in the cultural realm, in education as well as in the ideological spheres, made a lasting impression upon the Winnipeg Jewish community, one that remains entrenched today.
3) Branch No. 564 - The Anarchists
The third radical element in Winnipeg was the Anarchists who joined the AR in 1915 with a membership of thirty-five.  They called themselves the 'Free Society', a name they had established prior to the AR affiliation. In its first and only report found in The Israelite Press in 1915, the branch reported some of their activities. Besides their local concerns, their focus was intent upon expanding anarchist philosophy amongst the Jewish masses. Toward this goal, they distributed literature, supported the American anarchist press, The Free Workers Voice, and brought prominent anarchist speakers to Winnipeg.
One of their earliest guests representing anarchist philosophy was Emma Goldman  (1869-1940) described as "young, vibrant, brilliant". Goldman's presence in Winnipeg in 1907 (again in 1926-27) was cause for excitement not only among Jewish radicals and the Jewish community, for after all she was a "Jewish daughter", but for the entire radical community. Goldman gave five lectures at the Rupert Street Trades Hall, three in English, one in Yiddish and one in either Russian or German. When questioned "What ought to be done with the Hebrew race, who live chiefly out of the produce of other's labor?" Goldman, in defense of the Jews, replied: "They were great producers - the only reason they did not do more producing was because they had not access to the land". "You get off his back," she exclaimed, "and give him a chance."  In her autobiography Living My Life, Goldman reported great satisfaction with her reception in Winnipeg, particularly with the "extraordinarily decent" editorials in Winnipeg's press. 
It was not until April, 1913 that Anarchists were again able to attract another world-renowned figure to Winnipeg. Although not a Jew, Rudolph Rocker had learned to speak Yiddish in London's East-End where he edited the Jewish anarchist press Der Arbeiter Freint (The Worker's Friend). A German bookbinder, Rocker was primarily concerned with the exploitation of Jewish tailors in London's sweatshops. In his autobiography The London Years,  Rocker recalled his first visit to Winnipeg and the hospitality his Winnipeg comrades had prepared for him, especially Frank Simkin, publisher of The Israelite Press, the Prosovs and Mr. Matlin. Of the Winnipeg audience, Rocker remarked, "... there was a good intelligent Jewish public in Winnipeg, and I felt very happy among them. I stayed in Winnipeg a whole month. I delivered twelve lectures there, on social subjects, economic questions and literary themes. The discussions that followed were extremely interesting". 
Ironically, when Rocker returned to Winnipeg in 1925, he was shattered at the change that he had perceived in the class composition of the anarchist group. "If I had known what kind of anarchists there were in Winnipeg, I would not have come for I found a group of contractors, bosses, and 'alrightnikes' with only two workers among them". 
Bringing anarchist speakers to Winnipeg was only one facet of this group's activities. During the war, Anarchists along with other North American socialists opposed the war and strongly upheld the socialist credo of an "anti-imperialist neutrality position".  To a large degree, pacifism was the cement that bound and healed, for a time, the dissension within the radical communities. For these socialists, the war epitomized "... the disputes of the international capitalist class for markets ... the struggle in Europe is of no real interest to the international working class". 
Under the War Measures Act of 1914, many radicals were harassed and intimidated. This repression became particularly oppressive during the latter years of the war when anti-conscription feelings ran high in Canada. In Winnipeg, "suspect" establishments were investigated - amongst them The Israelite Press, Baker's Press, People's Book Store, and the Liberty Temple, as well as private homes in the North End. Books, newspapers and journals of a 'dubious' nature were confiscated.  Jewish radical groups, although harassed, were not amongst the 'forbidden organizations'  as were Russian, Ukrainian and Finnish radical organizations, for after the Revolution, these groups were considered as aliens and as Bolsheviks by the Canadian Government.  Both the Social Democratic Party of Canada (SDPC) and the Anarchists were outlawed. How the Jewish Anarchists in the AR were specifically affected remains unclear.
In conclusion, Jewish anarchists provided the radical Jewish community with a third option, the anarchist version of socialism. The inclusion of the Anarchists as a branch in the AR united, for a short time, the various shadings in the Jewish radical movement. This unity, they all recognized, was essential in establishing the radical presence within the Jewish community. Even though there were visible chasms, the Jewish radical element was firmly established in Winnipeg by the end of the first two decades of this century.
The City Committee of the AR
As the coordinating body of the AR in Winnipeg, the City Committee functioned to integrate and unify the three ideological factions of its members into a cohesive whole, while at the same time, allowing each group freedom of expression and activity. In the ideological sphere, this was often a herculean task, but in their social, cultural and class concerns, the organization was united in carrying out constructive programs of vital interest to the Jewish working class.
The City Committee functioned not only on a local level, but united the organization with its national and international counterparts. Internationally, the Branches participated in the annual AR conventions held in the U.S. Each Branch was represented by one delegate. On the national plane, the City Committee joined with the Canadian AR to implement policies specific to the Canadian scene. As one example of national effort, a special "Arbeiter Ring Tag Day" was proclaimed across Canada in 1917 to raise funds for European war victims. 
At the local level, the City Committee organized a variety of activities that dealt with the cultural, political, and economic life of the Jewish community. Though primarily aimed at accommodating their own membership, these activities were always designed to attract and influence the larger Winnipeg Jewish community. Such an activity was the "Jewish Radical Forum" established by the AR in 1915. [M] This activity became an important event in the life of the Jewish community. The forum, open to the public, was held every second Sunday at the Jewish Radical School Hall. The Form provided Winnipeg Jewry with a series of lectures and debates ranging from "social problems in all their manifestations" to theoretical analysis. At its inception, the Jewish press commented: "From these topics, it is noticeable that their appeal is limited. Topics are serious and only those most interested are expected to attend."  The aim of the Forum was to "spread knowledge among Jewish socialist workers." All radical organizations were asked to popularize it.
United, the AR was able to attract to Winnipeg the finest, richest, cultural elements that North American Jewry had developed. The period 1915-1918 was a particularly exciting time when Winnipeg Jewry played host to such notables as the author, Scholem Asch  in 1915 and in 1918; the dramatist, Peretz Hershbein in 1917;  frequent visits with Dr. Chaim Zhitlovsky;  and numerous others. A new culture was being created, a vigorous secular culture, for and by the Jewish immigrant workers, one that mirrored not only his pain and his degradation as he was first introduced into the industrial work place but also his hopes for the future.
On the economic and political plane, the AR sought to integrate its concerns with those common to the working class of Winnipeg. Some of these activities became highly visible during the second decade of this century. One example, in 1918, can best illustrate this interaction. Numerous factors, i.e. unemployment, inflation, the decline of labors' 'real wages', "the evils of unsanitary factories and the shortage of housing" aggravated further by the influenza epidemic, had brought about not only a deteriorating economic condition but also an explosive political situation. Numerous strikes were called "until it had almost reached the proportions of a general strike."  In this milieu, the AR called a 'Strike Conference' on May 29, 1918, held at the Liberty Temple. The conference united all the radical organizations as well as those organizations and individuals sympathetic to labor's plight. I. Prosove, the chairman, explained the work of the conference. The Rev. W. Ivens, a Methodist minister and a representative of the Central Strike Committee, reported on the strike situation.
A strike fund was set up by the convention and $144.22 was gathered.  Through their initiative, the radical Jewish elements were slowly beginning to influence Winnipeg Jewry in transcending their ethnic boundaries and uniting, even though in a limited way, with Winnipeg's working class.
In conclusion, each branch of the AR had its own particular niche in the socialist spectrum and each carried on activities mirroring their particular philosophy. United by their strong commitment to socialism and to the development of a Yiddish working class, secular culture, the AR became a vital, social, cultural and ideological force in the Jewish community, bringing to it a level of awareness of both class and ethnic consciousness, of dedication and leadership unequalled in the general Jewish population.  By its very existence, the AR was able to legitimize the radical elements within the Jewish community as an acceptable alternative among the many that were being offered to the immigrant Jew. Although this acceptance was always tenuous, Jewish radicalism has become an established fact; at all times, its presence had to be considered.
B. The Political Organizational Life Within the Jewish Radical Community.
The Jewish Branch of the Social Democratic Party of Canada (SDPC)
With a long history of suffering under tyranny, East European Jews came to Canada with a great deal of expectation but with little experience in a democratic parliamentary system. Their first experiences were fraught with endless frustrations as they encountered numerous unforeseen obstacles, party bosses, corruption, property qualifications, broken election promises, and anti-semitism, etc.  Many became cynical and indifferent but for others, the system became a challenge in achieving its promised potential.
Jewish political emancipation in Canada dates back to 1832.  From then on, Jewish participation in Canadian politics, though sporadic, laid the basis for Jewish political integration and for the community's strong faith in the parliamentary system. 
Reasons for this faith and integration, Schappes argued, lay in the fact that "While about one-third of all European immigrants arriving between 1880 and the first World War went back home, and in some groups the percentage was as high as two-thirds, among the Jews the disappointed road back was less than one-third."  [N] Most of the East European Jews came as political émigrés or as draft-dodgers. For them there was no turning back. Conditions in the new country had to be made amenable, hopefully through legislation.
Very early, Jewish political support was divided between the Conservatives and Liberals. Both parties vigorously wooed the immigrant Jewish vote, particularly in Ward 5 where the Jewish vote was decisive. By 1910, the basis for Jewish political participation in both parties had been established when Conservative Moses Finkelstein was elected in 1905 as the first Jewish alderman representing the North End, and Liberal S. Hart Green, a Canadian born Jew, also from the North End, was elected to the Provincial Legislature in 1910 as a Liberal. Green was the first Jewish MLA in Canada.  [O] By 1915, there was a growing recognition in the community, as expressed in the Yiddish Press, that indeed there was no difference between the parties. 
Jews engaged in numerous discussions as to the necessity or desirability for a 'single block of ethnic votes'. Although there was a growing awareness of class alignments,  the position of the vast majority of Winnipeg Jewry on this issue was emphatically stated in The Israelite Press in 1914 when the editor argued:
By 1917, attitudes were beginning to change slowly when The Israelite Press advised their readers to reject ethnic preferences; instead, Jews would be well advised to consider their class interests. 
To a large extent, it was the entrance of the socialist elements into the political arena that slowly began to change-but never to entirely eradicate the voting behaviour of the Jewish community from an ethnic alignment into a more class oriented, ideological position. With a growing working class, ethnic voting was often found to be inadequate to the demands of an industrial, capitalist society. Workers, Jew and non-Jew alike, increasingly looked to their legislative bodies to acquire the equality of opportunity and condition that a democratic society gave promise. This realization was particularly stark in Winnipeg's North End.
In the first two decades of this century, Jews along with other Winnipeg workers agitated for radical political action. In this pursuit, familiar models and ideologies were called upon. Although there was a proliferation of socialist and labor parties during the 1905-1918 period, the principle vehicle for radical Jews was expressed within the Socialist Party of Canada (SPC) from 1905 to 1910 and the Social Democratic Party of Canada (SDPC) from 1910 to 1921. However, only their latter involvement within the SDPC will be dealt with at this time.
The SDPC was organized in 1910 when East European socialists rebelled against the doctrinal rigidity of the Socialist Party of Canada. Founded by Jacob Penner, Herman (Chaim) Saltzman, Saul Simkin, Mathew Popovitch, Fred Tipping and others, the SDPC became a federation in which various ethnic groups were able to retain sovereign powers. 
Based on Marxist philosophy, the party's ten-point program was a blend of the "revolutionary and the pragmatic" which ranged from advocating an eight hour day to the abolition of the senate.
Designed primarily to educate the proletariat, they were equally committed to "work unceasingly for reforms determined to wrest from the ruling class every concession for the improvement of the life of the workers within the present system."  Even though they recognized the inherent limitations of reform, they nevertheless attempted to "minimize the present effects of capitalism."  Even though they recognized the inherent limitations of reform, they nevertheless attempted to minimize the worst effects of the system.
By 1913, the SDPC was the largest socialist party in Canada with over 3,500 members in 133 locals.  By the end of 1915, the party had grown to 5,300,  largely composed of East European elements.  Its largest constituency, almost 20% was in Winnipeg, particularly in Winnipeg's North End.  The SDPC had a membership of two hundred at its formation in 1910. The Jewish branch, which organized soon after, included a small number of thirty to forty dedicated members trained in the East European Marxist tradition. Even though few in number, Belkin described the group as "one of the strongest branches of the Socialist Democratic organization," [110a] occupying a central position in the Jewish political life in Winnipeg)" (The only other Jewish branch of the party was founded in Toronto). 
The Jewish Branch, at its inception, met at the Fisher Hall on Main Street near Selkirk Avenue. Very quickly, Gale recalled, the party outgrew these quarters and the Jewish section moved to Magnus Avenue at Main Street. After the Liberty Temple was bought in 1917, it became the party's permanent headquarters. At the Magnus location, the branch established a Jewish library, formed study groups, held series of lectures covering a wide range of topics, and avidly entered into the political arena at all levels. Furthermore, initial attempts were undertaken in organizing Jewish workers into the trade union movement. 
The programs that they undertook were designed primarily to influence, educate and activate the Jewish worker. These tasks were made explicitly, Jewish party members were "to organize, to do propaganda work and to spread literature among the Jewish masses".  Many of their efforts proved rewarding as indicated in a report to The Israelite Press in 1915. Here, the branch reported that all their lectures, fifteen in the past year, had been well received with an average attendance of 400 at each meeting. They were especially proud, they reported, if their influence upon Jewish youth as they had been instrumental in organizing the "Young Socialist Organization". 
After 1913, the branch reached new heights with the acquisition of two highly capable, vigorous organizers who forged the branch into a beehive of activity. The first was S. Almazov [P] who arrived with his family from Russia in 1913. Almazov's passion for social justice, love of Yiddish culture and thirst for knowledge quickly led him to formal education at the University of Manitoba. His organizational skills and his fiery oratory earned him respect among all elements within the Jewish community. Almazov's activities in the Jewish radical field were extensive in the AR, in the formation of Jewish radical schools, as well as in the Party.  The second was W. Baum who arrived from New York in 1913. He was a professional organizer who had acquired his revolutionary training in the Old Country. 
The Jewish Branch of the SDPC campaigned vigorously at all levels of political activity. They eagerly accepted the challenge and the promise of the political arena as essential to their ultimate goal. This goal, as Chisick pointed out, "was the abolition of the capitalist system by working within the legal institutions of the land".  For them the class struggle was above all a political struggle, a struggle to politicize and to propagandize the working class through the ballot box. Numerous campaigns and elections were contested, at the municipal, provincial and at the federal levels. Since their main constituency was in Winnipeg's North End, and since the Jews were heavily concentrated in Ward 5, this ward became the major focus of their struggles. The Jewish branch, therefore, was placed in a strategic position with the fundamental, often formidable task of re-aligning the voting patterns of the Jewish masses from an ethnic to a class orientation. The process was often slow and painful.
It was not until 1915 that a class victory at the provincial level was scored in Ward 5 and thereafter changed the voting patterns of that community. The preparation for this victory had been laid two years earlier in 1913 with the municipal election of Richard Rigg, a British SDPC member, in Ward 5. This initial victory for the North End's working class established a socialist, political tradition that has continued to this day with the subsequent elections of Jake Penner, M. Forkin and J. Zuken, a tradition that continues to be recognized as unique in North America. In a victory address organized by the Party, Rigg spoke to his Jewish supporters:
While success at the polls was a continuing focus, the Jewish Branch, along with all members of the SDPC, played a vital role in organizing the large number of Winnipeg's unemployed that had become highly visible by 1915. For after 1912, Winnipeg's economic boom had collapsed.  Winnipeg had entered a period of recession and decline but only after the basis for an industrial, capitalist society had been laid. While unemployment made its appearance in Western Canada by 1900,  its full fury was not felt until after 1913. By then, Winnipeg had 3,000 unemployed, Toronto 7,650 and Montreal 3,825.  Desperate measures were advanced with foreigners generally being the useful scapegoat. In an attempt to rid itself of the "unemployed foreigner", the Canadian government in 1915, threatened deportation, particularly in the larger cities where the problem was highly intensified. One Jewish "foreigner" bitterly complained:
It was in this atmosphere of heightened suspicions that the SDPC began their organizational work with the unemployed. A week-long demonstration was organized with daily marches rotating from the City Hall to the Legislature.  The highlight of the week was reached on April 22nd, 1915, when fifteen thousand people marched onto the Legislature. Seven delegates - two Jews amongst them, both SDPC members-prodded Premier Roblin into meeting with them. This intense pressure, backed by heightened militant feelings of class solidarity, evoked a promise from Roblin to meet with city representatives in an attempt to find some solution to the problem. From this action, Winnipeg's Mayor spearheaded a Conference of Canadian Mayors on the question of unemployment in Canada.  The week's activities concluded with a May Day Parade, [Q] again organized by the SDPC. Many Jews participated and for the first time the May Day rally demonstrated both its ethnic and class spirit as demonstrators were addressed in several ethnic languages, including Yiddish. The May Day Parade, as announced in the Jewish press, was a "worker's demonstration opposing the existence of the capitalist system with an expression of international worker's solidarity". 
The SDPC Branch was vitally concerned with illicit voting practices rampant in the North End's immigrant community. [R] The practice was viewed by some ethno-centrics as an inherent condition of all foreigners. Attacking the 'foreigner' was a preferable tactic to blaming the corrupt political machine that fostered these methods. To expose these practices, a Jewish socialist paper was founded by Branch members, the first Jewish paper founded in Winnipeg. On December 1, 1909, "The Winnipeg Courier" [S] was issued  by Tom and Max Tessler, Ben Warhaft and Fred Donner, Orlikoff, M. Weisman, B. Taubman and Saltzman. Mr. Donner explained how some of these voting practices occurred:
These initial efforts to clean up both municipal and provincial politics led to a later expose also involving North End Jewry. This expose was led by socialist A. A. Heaps, an upholsterer, who was a contender in the Ward 5 municipal election in 1917. It was in this capacity that Heaps exposed voting discrepancies in his North End war - Ward 5. (55 votes were fabricated votes were either registered for those already dead or for those out of town, etc.)  As a result, Heaps was elected Alderman of Ward 5; new voting regulations were initiated;  several Jews were implicated with one Alderman forced to resign. City Council assigned $5,000 for an intensive investigation.
The incident touched off an intense discussion in the city and in both the Jewish and non-Jewish press. To a large extent, the Jewish press interpreted the attitudes of the dominant press as having anti-Semitic overtones.  Here was how the Jewish press assessed the issue:
Illicit voting practices was but one area of party struggle, for by the end of the war, local concerns were being superseded by momentous international and national events that were to drastically and irrevocably alter alliances within the world socialist movement. Three events, the 1917 Anti-Conscription Campaign, the 1917 Russian Revolution, and the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike, seemed to flow together at this time, and their combined effects rocked all of Canada and Winnipeg in particular.
The introduction of conscription in 1917 triggered the country's tremendous social unrest and dissatisfaction. The fight against conscription became the dominant issue of this period and became synonymous with the struggle against deteriorating economic conditions. In a bitter anti-conscription campaign, the SDPC joined with labor and the SPC in threatening a general strike if conscription was legislated.
MLA Rigg, in an address to the Manitoba Legislature, expressed not only the anti-conscriptionists point of view but clearly showed how economics, conscription and the question of war were intertwined in the minds of Canadian labor and radicals. It was this interconnection that Rigg sought to expose:
This rising agitation throughout the country resulted in a "grinding campaign of reprisal and terror against those who opposed the war on conscription."  Under the War Measures Act of 1914, the SDPC was outlawed and their activities were carried on clandestinely. Individuals were faced with intimidation, loss of employment, often prison or internment, etc.  In 1917 and 1918, 3,895 people were arrested, mostly charged with anti-conscription activities. 
The second event of major consequence for the Canadian radical movement was the victory of the Russian Revolution of 1917. It caught the world by surprise. Its impact was dramatic. For many Jews-radicals, working class, intellectuals, and petit bourgeois the Bolshevik Revolution became a symbol, as expressed by Gershman, as the "greatest thing that happened in the history of mankind".  This was the 'wave of the future' which would initiate peace, international brotherhood and industrial democracy.
While all Jewry had actively acclaimed the March Revolution in Russia, there was little unanimity in assessing the October Revolution. For many, steeped in liberal tradition, the March Revolution seemed to embody the natural, evolutionary process of Russian capitalist development. For this element, the establishment of a socialist state, proclaiming the dictatorship of the proletariat, was a new and unexpected phenomenon. Viewed with fear and hostility, there began an anti-Bolshevik, anti-Soviet hysteria directing much of their hostility upon the local radical elements.
In Canada, the SDPC strongly defended the Bolshevik Revolution. They were extremely vocal in condemning Western intervention in Russia, particularly the Canadian military expendition to Archangel.  Moreover, they were proud that the revolution had been led by the revolutionary wing of the Social Democratic Party of Russia which was not inconsequential in heightening their militancy.
Jewish defenders of the revolution were highly vocal against the Bolshevik 'attacks' in both Jewish and non-Jewish circles. In one instance, Jewish radicals particularly became incensed at the anti-semitic slurs found prevalent in The Telegram in relation to the revolution. In one article, it was pointed out that many of the Bolshevik leaders had Jewish names "not only are Bolshevik leaders Jewish but Polish, Lithuanian and Galician Jews have German blood in their veins". And, anyone "with German blood in their veins" was obviously suspect in a country at war with Germany.  The distrust by the dominant society of the Bolsheviks, socialist Sam Blumenberg maintained, was their fear that "the workers will become enlightened enough to follow the example of the brother workers in Russia". 
The revolution was, however, not unanimously endorsed by all radicals. As McKillop pointed out, the revolution "ended the marriage of convenience that had first brought the party (SDPC) together in 1910"  In Winnipeg, the "marriage that had united the British socialism of the John Queens with the orthodox Marxism of the Jake Penners" had now come to an end as each sought new alignments more compatible with their ideological commitments. While John Queen and his faction became staunch supporters of the Independent Labour Party (ILP) of Manitoba, Jake Penner and his prorevolutionist faction, the majority within the SDPC, became the pioneers of the Communist Party of Canada (CPC) which was founded in 1921. Included were many of the ethnic federations, the Ukrainians, the Finns, and the largest portion of the Jewish membership.  They were staunch supporters of the Soviet regime, as they remain today. Jews were to be found in both streams.
The third occurrence of major consequence for Canadian radicals, Winnipeg's in particular, were the events that led directly to the Winnipeg General Strike of 1919, an area that lies outside the scope of this paper. [T]
In summary, in helping to found the SDPC, Jews and other East European radicals created a party that gave expression to their fundamental concerns, the class struggle and the survival of their ethnic communities. As a federation of various language groups, the SDPC provided each affiliation with a high degree of autonomy, an opportunity that provided them access to their ethnic constituency as well as to the larger community of workers. They were internationalists, concerned with the plight of all workers. This concern was highlighted in The Israelite Press, when it noted that Jewish radical served the entire working class community. In their struggles to provide Winnipeg workers with working class representatives, the press assessed their contribution as those who fought for honest administration, the right of the unemployed to work, the right of the employed to fair work practices and economic gain.  In addition, and, to a large extent, it was due to the efforts of Jewish radicals that ethnic barriers within the Jewish community had been transcended as Jewish workers began to look to their class rather than to their ethnic concerns in the political arena.
In summing up these two decades of Jewish political involvement, the evidence has indicated that Jewish radicals became an important influence in the Jewish community. And, although their main focus was in the political realm, viz, raising the level of political awareness of the Jewish working class, the Jewish Branch of the SDPC played a significant role in creating Jewish educational institutions, in the development of a Jewish working class culture and in creating a climate within the Jewish community whereby radical thought became legitimized.
In focusing upon the Winnipeg Jewish community in its formative period of development 1905-1918, an attempt has been made to highlight three key factors: first, to demonstrate that the radical elements were a fundamental force in the formative years of the Jewish immigrant community; second, to demonstrate that by the very existence and acceptance of radicalism, the Jewish community was never a homogenous entity; third, to demonstrate that the radicals operated on two levels linking both their ethnic, their national, and their international, class concerns.
During the period under review, it was the character of the immigrant which brought profound changes to the composition of North American Jewish life. Eastern European Jews had now become in number and in hegemony the dominant force in the Jewish community. East European Jewry had evolved its own unique, rich Jewish culture and their loyalty in maintaining and strengthening it became fundamental to their continued survival as Jews. Within its fold, the full range of Jewish thought was to be found, from religious ritualism to secularism as well as numerous shadings of revolutionary social theory. For the first time in the long history of the Jews, the uniformity of the old Jewish community had been broken. By the time these Eastern European Jews arrived in North America, this diversity had become established and was to increase under North America's more liberal conditions.
Similarly, in spite of external appearances, the Winnipeg Jewish community was never a monolithic entity. It encompassed a wide spectrum of social thought and class composition; radicalism was but one of its manifestations. Through the parallel organizational structures that they developed, radicals further expanded the avenues of expression open to the Jews.
Through a number of social structures, for example, within the Jewish branch of the SDPC, the sociocultural organizations of the AR, i.e. the AR Shule, [U] Jewish radicals actively participated in and made a lasting contribution to the political, cultural and educational life of the entire Jewish community as well as the community at large. In all three areas, i.e. the sociocultural, the political and the educational spheres, the radicals became deeply rooted in the Jewish working class and brought to it the vital, courageous leadership that was essential to an immigrant community frequently operating in a hostile environment. In all three areas, they expressed their unique philosophy - based on secularism, humanism and socialism - on the national and on the international plane. For the East European revolutionary, both were primary. The national meant survival as Jews, meant Yiddish culture and education, meant a healthy respect for one's own uniqueness - rather than an ethnocentric approach. At the same time, they recognized the international class struggle which was common to all mankind, that which linked their Jewish identity with the issues basic to all, with social equality and justice for Jews and non-Jews alike.
During the first two decades, emerging nationalist sentiments, expressed as political Zionism, occupied centre stage in the Jewish radical community. The ensuing debate drew sharp attention to the fundamental issue dividing them the primacy of nationalism versus the class struggle. Whereas the internationalists attempted to blend the two in their struggle to achieve socialism not only for the Jews but for all groups in society, the Labor Zionists argued essentially for a Jewish solution which sought to isolate the Jews, both physically and culturally, from other groups. For revolutionary Marxists, ethnicity did not preclude the class struggle. It was precisely the linking of the two that made their approach so unique.
The national, international dilemma was but one area of divisiveness within the ranks of the radical movement weakening not only the Jewish but the whole socialist movement as assimilationists, revolutionists, anarchists and Labor Zionists battled for dominance as the socialist spokesmen within the radical Jewish community.
Finally, the role and contribution of the radical elements have yet to be fully evaluated so that the Jewish community can attain its multi-dimensional character and can be understood within its larger context-Winnipeg history. From this initial attempt, there are implications that demand further investigation as they bring into question accepted modes of approaching ethnic studies. An analysis of radicalism in the Jewish community brings to the fore the necessity of recognizing that ethnic identity is only one of a series of factors with profound ramifications for social history. It is the linkage of ethnicity with Marxist political philosophy, rooted in working class experience, that has been the focus of this paper.
A. An example of discriminatory practices against radicals within a specific ethnic context has keen voiced by the 'United Ukrainian Canadian' as well as their 'Ethnic Press Association' in reference to their exclusion at the First Canadian National Conference on Multiculturalism held in Ottawa, October of 1973, and also in reference to discriminatory practices regarding state funding to radical ethnic organizations. 
B. This theme was later reiterated by Lenin in "Lenin's Letters on the National Question." 
C. Yiddish - the language of the Jewish masses from about the Tenth or Eleventh century in Europe. It is a language "consisting mainly of old German, Hebrew and some grammatical elements of the Slavic language." 'Yiddishkeit' can be understood as being synonymous with 'Jewishness.' 
D. The Bund - 'Algemeiner Idisher Arbeiterbund' in Lita, Poilen in Russland (General Jewish Labor Federation of Lithuania, Poland and Russia). 
E. In addition, see Sutcliffe, Joseph Harry, M.A. Thesis "Economic Background of the Winnipeg General Strike: Wages and Working Conditions", for a full discussion of economic conditions during this period.
H. On June 7, 1917, the "Arbeiter Ring Loan Association", in a financial report to The Israelite Press, reported that there were eighty-four members in the association with a working capital of almost $3000.00. S. Simkin, the president, reported that the organization was based on cooperative principles; furthermore, they were seriously considering changing the name to the "AR CO-OP Bank". 
M. The Forum was first initiated by J. S. Woodsworth in Winnipeg in 1910 and as "The People's Forum". It was designed to have "positive educational value" to the immigrant Winnipeg community. The idea spread quickly to other Canadian cities."
O. Wirier points out that Green's appeal to the Liberal Party was precisely because he was a Canadian morn and he was chosen over other immigrants with similar qualifications. Later, Green became an outspoken critic of the Roblin administration.
P. Lipton  mistakenly identified Almazov as the victim of the Winnipeg General Strike. Almazov was one of 5 foreigners arrested at that time, later he was allowed to leave for the U.S.A. where he now resides.  Baum also left Winnipeg in 1919 for reasons unrelated to the strike. 
S. Only the frontispiece of the first edition has been found reprinted in The Vochenhlatt in 1966 to commemorate 40 years of Jewish socialist press in Canada. Mr. Donner included an article of some of his early experiences in the Jewish progressive movement in Winnipeg. It is unknown how long the paper existed but in 1918 the SDPC Jewish branch began publishing a monthly called 'Social Democrat'. 
T. See Usiskin's M.A. Thesis - "Toward A Theoretical Reformulation of the Relationship between Political Ideology, Social Class, and Ethnicity: A Case Study of the Winnipeg Jewish Radical Community, 1905-1920" for a discussion of this aspect.
U. For a discussion of the role of Jewish radicals in the educational realm, see H. Herstein's thesis "The Growth of the Winnipeg Jewish Community and the Evolution of its Educational Institutions", also Usiskin's Thesis.
3. W. L. Morton, Manitoba: A History, (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1957), p. 304.
5. J. S. Woodsworth, Strangers Within Our Gates, (Missionary Society of the Methodist Church, 1909). p. 259.
10. Woodsworth, Strangers Within Our Gates, p. 153.
12. Woodsworth, Strangers Within Our Gates, p. 153.
49. Harry Gale, "The Jewish Labour Movement in Winnipeg". In the First Publication of The Jewish Historical Society of Western Canada: A Selection of Papers Presented in 1968-69. Winnipeg, June, 1970. p. 5.
59. J. A. Cherniack, "Reminiscences of 40 Years of Jewish Community Life." Second Annual Publication of the Jewish Historical Society of Western Canada: A Selection of Papers Presented in 1969-70. (Winnipeg: April 1972), p. 81.
75. Abe Arnold, "Red Emma Lectured Here in 1907", (Winnipeg:) The Tribune, April 10, 1975.
76. Abe Arnold, "Emma Goldman Articles" - Part 1 and 2, The Canadian Jewish News, April 25, 1975.
85. Morton, Manitoba: A History, p. 364.
92. Morton, Manitoba: A History, p. 360.
101. Arthur Chiel, The Jews in Manitoba, p. 172.
113. Harry Gale, "The Jewish Labour Movement in Winnipeg", First Annual Publication of the Jewish Historical Society of Western Canada: A Selection of Papers Presented in 1968-69. (Winnipeg: June 1970), p. 6.
123. W. L. Morton, Manitoba: A History, p. 329-330.
144. N. Penner, Winnipeg, 1919, p. 16.
145. McKillop, "Citizen and Socialist: The Ethos of Political Winnipeg, 1919-1935", M.A. Thesis, University of Manitoba, p. 109-112 inclusive.
A. Primary Sources
1. Newspapers, Journals, Papers
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First Annual Publication of the Jewish Historical Society of Western Canada: A Selection of Papers Presented in 1968-69. Winnipeg: June 1970.
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Page revised: 22 May 2010